Meta's Messenger adds end-to-end encryption for chats and calls for all

Facebook Messenger on an iPhone XS
Facebook Messenger on an iPhone XS (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Messenger now supports end-to-end encryption for everyone.
  • Encryption won't be enabled by default.
  • Other improvements include screenshot notifications and more.

Meta's Messenger app has added support for end-to-end encryption across both chats and calls for all users, the company has announced. Now, people have two different ways to make sure that their messages are secure.

When sending messages people can enter vanish mode by swiping up on an existing chat or select Secret Conversations when starting a new chat by toggling the option on.

End-to-end Encrypted Group Chats and Calls in Messenger: Last year, we announced that we began testing end-to-end encryption for group chats, including voice and video calls. We're excited to announce that this feature is available to everyone. Now you can choose to connect with your friends and family in a private and secure way.

Alongside the new encryption features Messenger will now also warn people when someone takes a screenshot, similar to the way Snapchat also notifies people of the same thing.

Screenshot notifications: Last year, we updated the settings for disappearing messages in our end-to-end encrypted chats and now we're introducing a new notification when we detect that someone screenshots a disappearing message. We think it's important that you are able to use encrypted chats and feel safe, so we want to keep you informed if anyone takes screenshots of your disappearing messages. This is the same feature we offer in Messenger's vanish mode, and now we're rolling out this notification over the next few weeks for disappearing messages in our end-to-end encrypted chats.

Other improvements include the addition of GIFs and Stickers, while Reactions allow people to tap and hold on a message to select a Reaction of their choice.

You can read about the other changes, including new typing indicators, in the original press release.

Meta's Messenger is one of the best iPhone apps at what it does and you can bet all of your friends have an account already.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.